16080 Hesparian Boulevard,
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On April 5, 1947, the United Artists built Lorenzo Theatre opened in San Lorenzo, California. Not only were the opening night attendees treated to showings of “Swell Guy” and “Dark Mirror” but they also were among the first the see Anthony Heinsbergen’s glorious fluorescent murals. These enormous jungle scenes are the first black light murals in Northern California history.
In addition to the works of Heinsbergen, who received his first major theater commission from Alexander Pantages in 1924 and decorated over 750 theaters nationwide, the theatre was designed by San Francisco architects Alexander A. Cantin, who was known for unique marquees and A. Mackenzie Cantin.
Throughout the years, many special events were held at this amazing treasure. Throughout it’s functioning years, the theater hosted Saturday morning “kiddie matinees”. Costume parties were held for the community on Halloween. Live armature performances regularly graced the theater’s stage. Additionally, the Lorenzo Theater was the first theater in northern California to house a live cast of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”.
The Lorenzo Theater fell victim to the same disease of it peers, the advent of the multiplex theater, and closed its doors in 1982. It has remained vacant since.
In early-1999, the Lorenzo Theater Foundation was formed. The California 501c non-profit organization is dedicated to the salvation and restoration of the Art Deco treasure.
Awards and Merits
ART DECO PRESERVATION AWARD from the ART DECO SOCIETY OF CALIFORNIA IN May, 1986 ten of these are given each year to buildings deemed worthy of preservation.
The Lorenzo Theater was designated a California Historic Resource early in 2001.
On September 12, 2002, the Lorenzo Theater was named a Historic Preservation (HP) District by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the first in Alameda County.
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